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Feature Story from 2011

May 18, 2011 - Filed Under: Children and Parenting

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi KIDS COUNT is seeking nominations for the annual Success Story campaign, which highlights the work of organizations that improve the lives of children and families across the state.

Housed at Mississippi State University, Mississippi KIDS COUNT works to improve the lives of the state’s families by providing information to policymakers, educators, program administrators, parents, advocates and the general public. KIDS COUNT recognizes organizations that are providing a helping hand to Mississippi’s children.

This shallow pond is infested with watershield, an aquatic plant that spreads rapidly and is difficult to control once established. (Photo submitted)
May 19, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Fisheries

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Landowners with ponds have a checklist of spring maintenance chores that will result in quality fishing, swimming or boating experiences, and a newly updated Mississippi State University publication can help.

Spring is a great time to get a jump on aquatic vegetation control, said Tom Holman, fisheries biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks.

Ongoing river flooding is forcing wildlife to flee to higher ground, where their presence can cause problems for humans. These cattle egrets gathered for safety beside a flooded corn field in southern Yazoo County, nowhere near the cattle they normally accompany. (Photo by Scott Corey)
May 19, 2011 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Wildlife

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Flooding from the Mississippi and other rivers is disrupting even the wildlife as it brings activities to nearly a standstill in many areas of the Delta.

The river flooding is already displacing wildlife, moving them to higher and drier areas, where they sometimes cause problems as they interact with humans. Deer, raccoons, opossums, snakes and ants are all often found in unexpected places during times of flooding.

The overflowing Mississippi River and its tributaries are threatening the Delta's trees, but many can survive for weeks in flood waters as long as their crowns remain above water and their roots do not become too exposed. (Photo by Scott Corey)
May 19, 2011 - Filed Under: Disaster Response, Environment, Forest Soils, Forestry

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – The overflowing Mississippi River is threatening the Delta’s trees, but with the proper care and maintenance, many can and will recover.

The Delta’s forests are exclusively bottomland hardwood, and the trees range from tolerant to very intolerant to flooding. For example, baldcypresses generally fare better than white oaks in flooding situations.

May 24, 2011 - Filed Under: Technology, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – NASA is partnering with the Mississippi State University Extension Service to bring science, technology, engineering and math content to youth through the Summer of Innovation program.

May 26, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi State University recently merged two units to further strengthen efficiency and research efforts.

The Mississippi Variety Testing and Mississippi Foundation Seed Stocks, both research support units in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, have been merged. The two units have worked together for more than a decade.

Brad Burgess, currently the variety testing unit’s director of research support, will oversee the newly created Mississippi Variety Testing and Foundation Seed.

May 26, 2011 - Filed Under: Seafood Harvesting and Processing, Seafood Economics

MISSISSIPPI STATE – State experts are sending out two surveys to seafood processors and restaurant owners to help analyze the needs and impact of Mississippi’s seafood industry.

Mississippi State University and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission are conducting the Economic Survey of Gulf Seafood Processors and Dealers. All the seafood processors and dealers in the state will be asked to complete surveys in an effort to learn more about key components of the Gulf seafood industry.

May 26, 2011 - Filed Under: Pets

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pets are notorious for chewing things, so caregivers need to be aware of some of the common toxins that do not come with warning signs.

Dr. Patty Lathan is an assistant professor of small animal internal medicine at Mississippi State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Unfortunately, she may be the first person to tell pet owners about the toxic properties of common household products, plants and even foods.

May 26, 2011 - Filed Under: Forestry, Timber Harvest

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Financial incentives for property owners to plant and manage their lands for timber production have been around since the 1930s, but many private landowners in Mississippi do not know about them.

These incentives, called cost-share programs, were developed to offset the initial costs for site preparation, tree planting and forest stand improvement.

Trees planted at the east and west ends of a building, such as those at The Citizens Bank of Philadelphia branch in Starkville, provide shade and reduce energy use.
May 26, 2011 - Filed Under: Community, Family

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Practical strategies for sustainable living can help Mississippians save money, increase independence and benefit the environment.

Mississippi State University landscape architecture professor Pete Melby practices what he teaches his students: reduce energy consumption through thoughtful design, food gardening and rainwater collection.

“After the widespread power outages this spring, people have a new interest in ‘living off the grid’ or reducing their energy consumption,” Melby said.

Mississippi State University professor in plant and soil sciences Jac Varco commends the anhydrous ammonia research conducted by professors in the 1930s and 1940s, which changed the face of agriculture and contributed to the formation of the state's first Fortune 500 company, the Mississippi Chemical Corp. (Photo by Scott Corey)
June 2, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Agricultural Engineering

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Researchers and inventors often succeed with efforts others consider impossible, but one “crazy” idea in the 1930s and 1940s changed the face of agriculture and contributed to the formation of Mississippi’s first Fortune 500 company.

In April, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers unveiled a historic landmark plaque in Mississippi State University’s Agricultural and Biological Engineering Building. An identical plaque was unveiled May 27 at MSU’s Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

June 2, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Soils, Disaster Response, Forest Soils, Forestry

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Much of the flooded Delta was already planted for the 2011 season, and when it finally dries out, landowners will face challenges preparing it for planting.

Landowners of flooded acreage must manage a variety of issues, including oxygen-depleted soils, nutrient loss, soil compaction, debris removal and possible chemical contamination. Some acres may not be ready for planting again until next year.

June 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Crops, Disaster Response

By Karen Templeton
MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE – As floodwaters in the Delta recede, Mississippi State University experts are helping producers make wise decisions about cropland management.

Beekeepers from north Mississippi gathered for a two-day workshop to learn about the challenges facing honey bees and strategies to help bees thrive.
June 8, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Beekeeping, Insects

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi is part of a nationwide surge in beekeeping, as evidenced by increased attendance at several informative workshops held across the state this spring.

June 9, 2011 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden

PICAYUNE – Mississippi State University’s Crosby Arboretum in Picayune will host a workshop to help homeowners learn how to save money and the environment.

Stephanie Pendleton, MSU Extension Service director in Jackson County, will conduct a rain barrel workshop at the arboretum in Picayune on July 16 from 10 to 11 a.m. She will educate participants about the ways rain barrels can effectively capture water and help cut water costs. Participants will also make a rain barrel to take home for their own use.

June 9, 2011 - Filed Under: Family, Food Safety

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Summertime means outdoor meals with friends and family, and Mississippi State University food safety experts want everyone to use simple strategies to reduce the chances of foodborne illness.

Natasha Haynes, nutrition and food safety area agent with the MSU Extension Service in Lincoln County, recommends using these four steps: clean, separate, cook and chill. The steps are part of the Be Food Safe campaign developed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

June 9, 2011 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Weed Control for Crops, Weed Control for Forages, Invasive Plants, Weed Control for Lawn and Garden

MISSISSIPPI STATE – State officials are asking for the public’s help in stopping the spread of cogongrass, one of the world’s worst weeds, which has invaded 62 of Mississippi’s 82 counties.

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce-Bureau of Plant Industry is asking anyone who spots this invasive grass to report the sighting by calling (662) 325-3390. The problem is severe enough that a Mississippi Forestry Commission assistance program is available in 19 counties to help landowners get rid of the weed.

June 16, 2011 - Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Mississippi’s 2 million white-tailed deer have an estimated $1 billion economic impact on the state, so knowing how to manage this wildlife resource is a common goal among landowners and hunters.

Two Mississippi State University short courses in July will teach those wanting to manage white-tailed deer populations on their land. There will be a July 23 session in Senatobia and a July 30 session at MSU. They are sponsored by the MSU Extension Service, MSU College of Forest Resources and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Jonathan Pote
June 16, 2011 - Filed Under: Agricultural Engineering, About Extension

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Jonathan Pote has been named head of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Mississippi State University.

Pote has served as interim head of the department since July 2010. He joined MSU in 1985 and has held a variety of administrative positions, including associate vice president for research and economic development and associate director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

June 16, 2011 - Filed Under: Seafood Economics

BILOXI – State experts are assessing the economic impacts of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on the Mississippi seafood and other marine-related industries.

Mississippi State University’s Research and Extension Center in Biloxi is conducting a survey to find out more about the economic well-being of marine-related businesses affected by the oil spill. Researchers need information from these industries to accurately assess the economic impacts of the 2010 oil spill.


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